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N. Korea calls for fight against heat wave, droughts to save crops

All Headlines 10:50 August 02, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Thursday urged its people to ramp up efforts to reduce damage from an unusually long heat wave that has gripped many parts of the country, taking its toll on crops and boding ill for harvests.

In an editorial, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, made the plea, detailing struggles and hardships confronting farmers due to the prolonged extreme weather conditions.

"Extreme high temperatures and droughts have begun affecting farming crops, including rice and corn in Hwanghae provinces and other areas," the newspaper said. "We should muster all our power and capacity to fight high temperatures and droughts."

It has been reported that the North has been grappling with hot weather from late July as has been the case with other neighbors such as South Korea and Japan.

Some major cities and towns saw temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. Making matters worse, there have been seasonally small amounts of rainfall, posing challenges for farmers to supply much-needed water to their crops.

The newspaper said that the current weather conditions are "unprecedented" and nothing shy of a "natural disaster" but emphasized that they are challenges that can be surmounted.

"It all depends on how we get over the damage from the high temperatures and droughts to see the favorable harvest situations created by all people's unwavering investment and hard work turn into a year of bumper crops," it said.

"There is no tomorrow when it comes to fighting against high temperatures and droughts ... If we just hope for luck and squander our time, it would cause irreversible consequences," it added.

The newspaper reported in a separate article that daytime highs in some areas surpassed 40 degrees Celsius on Monday, and dozens of towns saw the mercury hover over 37 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. On the same day, Seoul, South Korea's capital, posted its record high of 39.6 degrees Celsius.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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